How much is a league-switch worth? According to this story in the New York Post, Jim Crane thinks it’s worth $50 million:
Potential Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is looking to cut $50 million from the purchase price of the team in exchange for the Astros switching leagues, The Post has learned … Sources told The Post that Crane — who reached a deal in May to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane for $680 million — is asking for a price reduction in the $50 million range to make the move.
Apparently this is a reasonable enough demand to where MLB is negotiating with him on it and “they’re in the ballpark.”
Things that justify some discount, I presume, are the later games the Astros will have to play due to trips to Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle as opposed to the almost-entirely central time zone schedule they have in the NL Central. Of course the novelty of new competition and the new rivalry with the Rangers may very well add to the coffers in the short term.
Everything it negotiable, it seems.
Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.
ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:
Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”
Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.